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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

A Disaster 2016 Budget

Published June 8, 2015 9:27 AM by Guest Blogger

Editor's note: Guest blogger Samer Koutoubi, MD, PhD, is program director and faculty member, public health at American Public University

The health and well-being of Americans should be the top priority of Congress. So why is Congress considering removing $900 million in public health funding from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in FY 2016?

The proposal to repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund will make public health professionals weak and unable to protect the health of our people and communities. This is unacceptable.  

The deep cut in FY2016 will reduce and/or remove existing funding for key preventive services and programs for chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and stroke, diabetes, and cancer.  This will be disastrous for our country, especially for low-income Americans, and other who benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Dr. George Benjamin, American Public Health Association executive director said, "In the face of fiscal pressures, we look forward to working with the administration and Congress to reverse austerity measures that prevent adequate investment in programs that promote and protect public health."

What we need to do?

Nurses and other health care professionals - as well as patients and others who will be significantly impacted by these cuts--should contact local, state, and federal officials and tell them to invest in the public health system to save lives and money. These funds are needed to keep America healthy.

While the new 2016 proposed budget has deep cuts in key public health programs, new programs have been funded especially in the areas of global health security.  For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services HHS 2016 budget, visit www.hhs.gov/budget.

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